Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Chris Rainier.
Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Chris Rainier.
“I am a storyteller who uses a camera.” – Chris Rainier
“I always knew that I wanted to be involved in seeing and understanding from seeing around the world. Photography is a perfect way to do that.” – Chris Rainier
“We need to take a moment now and then to trade stories about what it really means to be a human being.”
“I am South African by birth, but because of my father’s job, our family traveled a lot. While living in places like Africa and Australia, we visited indigenous peoples. From the beginning, I carried a camera to document the beauty and wonder of these far-flung countries. I also realized many of these cultures were faced with issues I could not ignore. I understood at a very early age, things were not like they were represented in travel magazines.” – Chris Rainier
“Working with Ansel (Adams), what happened there for me was, “Oh, I could use photography as a social tool.” His use of photography for environmental issues was phenomenal.” – Chris Rainier
“We consider biological diversity of these different flora and fauna crucial to our survival, but don’t think about intellectual diversity — in fact, we kind of look at it in a global market level, wouldn’t it be great to have one language? Well, if all we’re doing is communicating about commerce, perfect. But what about diversity that comes up in a language. Each language has its own unique way of looking at things.”
“We are at a crucial crossroads of human history. We are losing traditional cultures with their ancient ways of life and spiritual beliefs at catastrophic rates … With my photography of the First Peoples of our fragile planet, I hope to show spiritual traditions from our past in the present, and become part of the process in some small way of helping prefer life for future generations. I believe photography plays a crucial role in helping sustain and revitalize cultures on the edge.” – Chris Rainier
“With my photographs, I hope to show the past in the present and become part of the process of pressuring life for the future. As our television sets carry us boldly about the world, and as the chainsaws fell the last trees that hide the lost peoples, we lose an essential mystery, and with it, the wisdom which may lie there. If we would be citizens of that world, then we must do all we can to ensure the survival of that world. As only one form of life on Earth, we must keep our humility and finally honor life itself. Once the fragile umbilical cord to our primal past has been severed, we will find ourselves truly alone, without purpose, adrift in a vast space with nowhere to go.” – Chris Rainier
“What would happen if you gave a camera to the Afghan girl in Steve McCurry’s iconic photo? How different would those photographs be? Not to replace the Steve McCurry’s, but rather to create another chair at the table of the dialogue of what it means to be human. It’s not an either/or. It’s not a good or a bad. It just simply is.There are voices out there that have incredible vision, and we aren’t accessing them enough.” – Chris Rainier
“There’s so many cultures that are still now not connected and are getting left behind in the digital divide. More and more, this is a world where you don’t exist unless you’re online, and you don’t have access to information to education to empowerment, to women’s issues, to job opportunities, unless you’re connected.” – Chris Rainier
“I have come to realize that the further I evolve as a photographer, regardless of where I point my camera, I am taking a self-portrait — a reflection of my own story, my own beliefs, my own point of view. Nothing more. Nor do I presume that where I point my camera and take a picture is a reflection of the absolute truth. There is no such thing as an absolute truth. All images merely reflect the emotion of the photographer and the opinion of the reviewer. As it is stated in photography, there always exists two individuals in every image, the artist and the observer, and their sets of beliefs and cultural biases.” – Chris Rainier
“We’re always told to be objective. Well there is no such thing as objective. There is no such thing. We all have an opinion. As visual storytellers we must form opinions therefore things become subjective and the more intense they become they become extraordinarily subjective. I think the powerful images in documentary and photojournalism, if not in other areas of our field, are the ones where people have taken a stance and made a subjective opinion.” – Chris Rainier
“It’s presumptuous of me to document this culture and call it a documentation. It isn’t a documentation, it is an interpretation of their culture.” – Chris Rainier
“I’m also really trying to be careful not to deal with stereotypes. I was most concerned that I didn’t perpetuate the myth about the savage cannibal. In part that’s why I didn’t go in the direction of National Geographic. They have a colonial approach to the exotic. I didn’t want to get into that. I wanted to try to be as honest about a culture as possible, which is never entirely possible, we always have our own cultural bias.” – Chris Rainier
“I couldn’t get a straight answer when I was with the indigenous people. So I came back, read about it, and went back again and again. The wrong thing that happens, in my mind, is that you’re so prepped on western scientific explanations for things that you’ll miss the point completely.” – Chris Rainier
“What I’ve learned along the way is you have to ask the right question to get the right answer. Often as westerners we go in asking western questions and maybe that’s not the question to be asked. You need to be asking the question in a New Guinea sense. In a sense of the relevancy of their culture not the relevancy of what we think it is. There’s a big difference.” – Chris Rainier
“What’s going on in contemporary anthropology, trying to empower indigenous people to tell their own stories and get a more accurate story to tell other cultures.” – Chris Rainier
“The minute an indigenous culture becomes aware of its value to other cultures it shifts its tone and its perspective.” – Chris Rainier
“There are many examples of where they’re being overrun. But there’s power in information and there are enough organizations like Cultural Survival, Conservation International, Shaman Pharmaceutical. Shaman Pharmaceutical is actually going into the forest and documenting what the shamans are using but they are also linking up the shamans so they can talk to each other. So there are shamans in Borneo talking to shamans in the Amazon, ‘Hey what kind of leaves do you use?’ I think technology is being used in a constructive way to help people preserve their cultures.” – Chris Rainier
“They’re going to be able to hold onto their land and cultural beliefs. You take them out of that context and they’ve lost their roots, they have lost their sense of being nourished. That’s exactly what we’ve lost.” – Chris Rainier
“There are may be questions that we should never find the answers to. You know, in a world that quantifies everything. And this is what I wrote about in one of those essays in the New Guinea book. I hiked through this valley for a couple of weeks, and went through this valley of leeches, and got to the edge of this community, and this valley where this community lived, and the warriors met me – they knew that I was coming – and they said, ‘No. We are not going to let you in. We’re not allowed to let you in.’ I was upset. I was frustrated. I had spent all that time and energy and money to get there. And then after a day or so of spending time on the outer perimeter of this valley with the warriors who were very kind to show me around on the fringes, I got it. It’s good to know that there are places that are untouched, unmapped, not understood, and not quantified because then it still allows us to have the concept of the mystery of life. Once science takes over it quantifies everything, then we’re done for.” – Chris Rainier
“How do you put a value on art? How do you put a value on a little kid who comes wandering through here, and has a shift in his perspective, and is profoundly affected, and becomes the next Picasso or the next President of the United States. It’s these things you can’t put quantitative values on. You can’t do that with art, you can’t do that with indigenous cultures. It’s my belief that it is indigenous cultures that still have family values and a sense of connection between them, the land, and the spiritual connection of all things. That is the greatest gift they can give to us. There are some gifts that we can give to them – certainly medicine and technology to preserve their culture, video or email or the internet. What they need to give to us is a sense of what we have already lost. I think they are really our last chance to reconnect. I think people are appreciating these kind of cultures more and more because they see the differences – what we don’t have and what they do.” – Chris Rainier
“I’d like to touch upon that thing that completes the circle. That’s the documentation of some of these emotional social issues in the world and how it’s for me an important necessity, as much as doing sacred places. It is the yin and yang, the extreme corners of human experience from the Garden of Eden, still left on the planet, to the Dante’s Inferno of places like Sarajevo, Rwanda, or Chechnya for here lies the mysteries of man’s inner light as well as his inner darkness. This truly makes this work complete. As a photographer I’m curious to go into these extreme corners and put them on film.” – Chris Rainier
“I’m trying to create that sense of the spiritual reason why these places or these masks exist.” – Chris Rainier
Read my conversation with Chris Rainier.
View 12 Great Photographs By Chris Rainier.
Watch Chris Rainier’s TED talk.
Visit Chris Rainier’s website.
“Issue 16 of PHOTOGRAPH magazine highlights the diversity of vision and creative expression. Issue 16 is a stylish send off (It’s the final issue!), featuring the work of Cynthia Haynes, Karen Divine, David duChemin, Takashi Kitajima, and Alain Laboile, and articles from regular columnists Martin Bailey, John Paul Caponigro, David duChemin, Chris Orwig, and Adam Blasberg. We hope this magazine inspires you to see differently as you continue to hone your vision.”
I discuss Using Psychology To Strengthen Your Composition.
Get your copy here.
“B&H’s OPTIC 2016 Imaging Conference provided numerous opportunities to talk with some of the most respected nature and landscape photographers working today, but the highlights of our two days at OPTIC had to be our chat with Michael Kenna, the event’s keynote presenter, and our conversation with Paul and John Paul Caponigro. It is unnecessary to summarize the work of these three photographers in any quick description but, suffice it to say, each is a master of his craft.
While their work is distinctive and unique, it was wonderful to hear of their common vision, approach—and yes, spirituality—and for this reason, we present their conversations together. With Kenna we spoke of process, why he sticks with medium format film photography and what motivates and inspires his work. With the Caponigros, we touched upon the spirit of art, how to communicate with nature and, with Father’s Day in mind, how to let a child discover his or her own path to artistic expression. Join us for these two inspirational conversations.” – John Harris and Alan Weitz
Michael Kenna (1:30 – 30:05)
Paul and John Paul Caponigro (31:00-57:10)
Listen to it here.
View our lecture at B&H’s OPTIC 2016 Conference here.
Read our conversation here.
View the ebook Two Generations here.
View the Two Generations exhibit catalog here.
In my presentation (sponsored by Canon) at B&H’s OPTIC 2016 Conference I share unique insights into black and white photography including – why black and white are colors, why you need color management, ways of seeing in black and white, how to prepare files for conversion to black and white, how to tone black and white images, 5 classic styles of black and white photography and more.
“Marc Silber’s Advancing Your Photography Show is in Monterey, California with former “Artist of the Year” photographer Huntington Witherill to bring you photography composition tips. Witherill’s unique photographic style will be sure to spark your imagination!”
Read my conversation with Huntington Witherill.
View more on Huntington Witherill here.
Visit Huntington Witherill’s website here.
The vast majority of photographic images benefit from sharpening.
Before you decide how and when to sharpen images, you need to decide why you’re sharpening them.
The goal of sharpening is to enhance detail rendition without producing distracting visual artifacts.
You’ll find many conflicting philosophies and their accompanying strategies for sharpening images. The seemingly conflicting advice can be hard to reconcile.
Should you sharpen once or multiple times? Should you sharpen differently for different subjects? Should you sharpen differently for different sizes? Should you sharpen differently for different presentation materials or supplies? Should you view your files at 100% or 50% screen magnification?
Capture source, output device, substrate or presentation device, presentation size, subject, and artistic intention all play a role in sharpening. The characteristics and solutions for many of these factors can be objectively defined for everyone; at least one of these factors, perhaps the most important, your artistic vision, can only be decided individually.
So, if sharpening is a complex subject, how do you simplify your sharpening workflow to one that’s practical without compromising quality?
Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe offer the best advice in their definitive volume on sharpening, Real World Image Sharpening, which I highly recommend you read. Instead of sharpening your images for you, they teach you how to sharpen.
Their philosophy of sharpening is the soundest in the industry, which is why it has been adopted by so many in the industry. They recommend that images be sharpened in a progression of three stages; once for capture sharpening, a second time for creative sharpening, and a third and final time for output sharpening. The objectives and methods of each of these stages vary considerably. When mastered, the whole process can be streamlined to achieve sophisticated results with a minimum investment of time.
Here's a quick synopsis ...
Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Jock Sturges.
“That’s my ambition: that you look at the pictures and realize what complex, fascinating, interesting people every single one of my subjects is.” – Jock Sturges
“Physical beauty is such a strange thing.” – Jock Sturges
“Different members of different cultures will think that some things are beautiful.” – Jock Sturges
“The truth is that from birth on we are, to one extent or another, a fairly sensual species.” – Jock Sturges
“As soon as you forbid something, you make it extraordinarily appealing. You also bring shame in as a phenomenon.” – Jock Sturges
“If somebody’s pointing a trembling finger at your pants and saying you shouldn’t be doing that, follow that finger back, go up the arm and look at the head that’s behind it, because there’s almost always something fairly woolly in there.” – Jock Sturges
“A virulent, aggressive minority has decided that Americans don’t know themselves what it is they should see, and need to be protected by people who are wiser than they are, even if they are only a tiny sliver of the population.” – Jock Sturges
“That dichotomy between the public consumption of the work and my intent and practice in making it is an uneasy one for me, on occasion.” – Jock Sturges
“I found myself serving a sentence of public denial from the very second the raid on my apartment happened.” – Jock Sturges
“I’m guilty of extraordinary naivete, I suppose. But it’s a naivete that I really don’t want to abandon, not even now.” – Jock Sturges
“But empirically I’ve come to understand that my photographs really don’t do any harm.” – Jock Sturges
“I became good at defending myself, but as far as I was concerned, that was a transient skill.” – Jock Sturges
“The world is shrinking as we see more and more of it in the media, and the more we see of the world, the smaller we are, the more aware we are of how insignificant any one of us is.” – Jock Sturges
“We live in an age where anonymity is growing in magnitude like a bomb going off.” – Jock Sturges
“Every child is going to grow up. You can see it happen in the books: They get older and older and belong to themselves to a greater and greater extent.” – Jock Sturges
“Before, I’d photograph anything. I didn’t think there was anything more or less obscene about any part of the body.” – Jock Sturges
“Any artist that’s involved in their work is inevitably going to have a focus in what they do.” – Jock Sturges
“I’m an artist that’s attracted to a specific way of seeing and a way of being.” – Jock Sturges
“I know the families that I photograph extremely well, and I’ve known them for a very long time.” – Jock Sturges
“All my life I’ve taken photographs of people who are completely at peace being what they were in the situations I photographed them in.” – Jock Sturges
“I don’t photograph any two people who are remotely the same.” – Jock Sturges
“I’d rather get back to making art than talk about it.” – Jock Sturges
Read our conversation here.
View 12 Great Photographs Collections here.
Read more in The Essential Collection Of Photographers’ Quotes.
View more in The Essential Collection Of Photographers Videos.
“Advice on how to visualize your photos, from a rare interview with Ansel Adams. Photo visualization was so important to Ansel Adams that he made it the first chapter of his book on photography.”
“Don’t miss this story of Ansel Adams’ breakthrough when he first learned to visualize a photograph, moving from amateur to the true artistry he was known for. Then see previously unreleased footage of Ansel explaining exactly what he means by “visualization” and the points to master to be an “instinctive” photographer. All footage filmed in Yosemite National Park where Ansel lived and photographed for decades. By watching and following his advice you can advance your photography to new heights!”
View more in Marc Silber’s series on Ansel Adams here.
View more Ansel Adams videos here.
Enjoy this collection of quotes by photographer Stephen Johnson.
“There were a huge variety of movements in photography during the 20th century, some based on 19th century landscape photography, some evolved as a reaction against realism in painting and photography, some evolved has a way of chasing the aesthetic of impressionism in painting. A single characterization really doesn’t get at what photography and beauty meant in the 20th century.” – Stephen Johnson
“It is clear, that the way I think about landscape photography in my world, largely of came out of the f64 group of photographers such as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogine Cunningham, Charles Scheeler and others. They relished the reality of the large format camera, and its clarity, seeing in that reality a great potential for abstraction. Their work became a large part of what landscape photography became.” – Stephen Johnson
“In the process of evolving this documentary power and the very real issues confronting us at the end of the 20th century, the beauty of the world often got lost in the accepted aesthetic of the Fine Art photography world. The famous quote by Cartier-Bresson about Weston and Adams photographing trees when the world was falling apart, comes to mind. Despite the enormous work and sometimes horrifyingly real world experiences it took to make them, it was easier to have photographs appreciated depicting the angst of the human experience. The dark side, the street photography of tragic circumstances, or peculiar people was the art, rather than responses to the beauty of the natural world, much less an appreciation for the wonder that it represents.” – Stephen Johnson
“It is come to the point that the world of landscape photography seems to exist in a place of perpetual sunrises and sunsets, the golden light, the perfect light, the waiting for the light, as though the ordinary experience of living seeing an experience in the planet does not in and of itself constitute a remarkable experience.” – Stephen Johnson
“I’m trying to make people aware that the Photography’s power to portray the real world is not only a power to portray our real human tragedy, but to also portray real human wonder, real human complexity and real human nuance and intricacy. The world is an intricate and nuanced place and I hope that photography can start to move toward understanding, appreciating, and portraying the common wonders of the world, rather than just the special wonders of the world.” – Stephen Johnson
“My own work is seeking to appreciate light in a different way than seems to have been previously appreciated in color photography. My affection for pastels, a more real world saturation, and not making transparent and open shadows into deep black holes (as film has traditionally done) is certainly an aesthetic I hope to propagate with whatever power my own work has to inspire.” – Stephen Johnson
“Because it is such a young media, the way we photograph, our own practices as well as those of our predecessors, have really made the history of photography. What we expect photography to be, has been largely determined by the photographs that we’ve seen and how we have understood the photographs that preceded ours.” – Stephen Johnson
“Photography has always been seen as wondrous, and much of that wonder came from its ability to render the real world.” – Stephen Johnson
“How photographers have approached these issues, their sense of truth in photography, their own sense of duty, how that has got folded into their work and both the interpreted power and documentary power of photography has influenced all of our perceptions of what photography is. We have tended the sub-categorize photography into photojournalism, landscape, documentary, fine arts, and some would argue we have different expectations from those different areas. I belive that regardless of the genre within photography, the understanding that remains a fundamental aspect of our perception of what photography is, is that it is in fact an image that was formed by a lens of the scene before the camera. However that might be influenced by our knowledge that photography can be manipulated into something that was not in front of the lens, we still have this instinct to believe, that is still at the heart of what makes this care about photographs.” – Stephen Johnson
“I try never to do anything to a photograph that I would characterize as enhancement or embellishment. I’ve said over and over again on many continents and for many years that the world is already self-embellished, it doesn’t need me to somehow make it better.” – Stephen Johnson
“Part of what we love about the photography process is the vicarious experience of a sense of place being appreciated without being in that place. It is actually inherent in photography’s basic power to let us know a world at some visual level that we haven’t actually seen.” – Stephen Johnson
“My fundamental fascination remains the photograph as witness to reality.” – Stephen Johnson
“The greatest wonder I experience in seeing new photography today is directly related to how many more people feel empowered to pursue photography and the variety of insights they bring to the medium.” – Stephen Johnson
Read our conversation here.
Find out more about Stephen Johnson here.
Read Great Quotes By Photographers collections here.
View 12 Great Photographs collections here.